Equitrekking Q&A: Luxury Dude Ranches

So you're ready to spring for a great equestrian vacation. Darley Newman tells you what you can expect from a luxury dude ranch.
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So you're ready to spring for a great equestrian vacation. Darley Newman tells you what you can expect from a luxury dude ranch.
vista verde ranch wine

Q: What can I expect on a luxury dude ranch vacation?
Darley Newman: If camping out under the stars isn't your thing, but you like to ride horses or want a very comfortable ranch vacation, a luxury dude ranch vacation might be a good fit for you. After taking ranch holidays across the United States and Canada, I came up with answers to some common questions travelers may have about what type of vacation they'll experience at one of these luxury ranches.

What are the accommodations like at a luxury dude ranch?

As in with any upscale vacation, accommodations vary, but many luxury dude ranches offer beautiful Western decor. You may recline on handmade log furniture. You may be staying in your own cabin, an elegantly furnished log structure or entire ranch style home with grand stone fireplaces, a hot tub and fully stocked bar.

Other ranches help you feel closer to nature in plush tents?? tents that you won't be pitching yourself. Many are constructed on wooden floors and have en suite bathrooms, art decorating the walls, and even electricity.

How much does a luxury ranch vacation cost?

Riding vacations in general can be economical, which surprises many people when they think about how expensive it is to keep a horse! Ranch vacations average from around $1000 or $2000 per person for an all-inclusive week to around $3500. Considering that this includes all riding, meals, accommodations and sometimes transportation, this can be a good deal. Another advantage of many ranch and riding vacations is that you can know your budget well ahead of time.

Luxury ranch vacations that I came across ranged from $250 a night per person double occupancy to $7,500 and more. The sky is the limit, as are the perks!

What are some fun perks those prices include on luxury dude ranch holidays?

Your vacation package may include private guides for hiking, fly-fishing or horse riding, golf, gourmet meals, dinner shows, fitness centers, indoor riding arenas, hot tubs, personal chefs, spa time and private cabins with fully stocked bars.

For instance, at Home Ranch in Colorado, food is a major focus. Dinner may consist of pan-seared quail stuffed with dates and prosciutto topped with a demi-glace and Maytag bleu cheese crumbles over soft polenta with manchego cheese and asparagus or crispy seared Alaskan halibut with braised spinach, wild rice pilaf and glazed baby carrots. Is your mouth watering yet?

At British Columiba's Siwash Lake Ranch, suites and luxury tents have plush linens, private baths, balconies and beautiful lake and wilderness views.

Siwahs Lake Ranch

Siwahs Lake Ranch

At Vista Verde Ranch, a Colorado luxury ranch resort, an Executive Chef hosts a hands-on cooking classes and wine tastings. House wines, beer and a variety of sodas are included in your stay.

Learn about luxury ranch vacations and other upscale equestrian vacation destinations in the luxury ranch guide in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide.